Superior (Class of 1980)
When Rick Meyer spins around, the discus usually sails a long way. By the time he was named the Hastings Tribune’s Prep Athlete of the Year in 1980, Meyer had already embarked on a record-setting career. The first Nebraska prepster to eclipse the 190-foot mark, Meyer won the all-class gold medal as a junior and the Class B gold medal as a senior. Also all-area in football and basketball, Meyer accepted a track scholarship to the University of Houston where he was a three-time Southwest Conference champion, a five-time All-American (twice in the shot put) and the NCAA champion in 1985 and runner-up in 1983. His senior year he set the NCAA meet record of 209-10. Ranked in the top 10 in the U.S. for nine years, Meyer placed fifth in the Goodwill Games in Moscow in 1986 and was an alternate for the Olympics in 1992. His younger brother, Andy, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.
Wayne (Class of 1963)
Don Meyer made his mark nationally as a successful and legendary college basketball coach, setting a record with 923 wins at Hamline (MN) University, Lipscomb (TN) University and Northern State (SD), but his playing accomplishments can’t be overlooked. The only player at Wayne High School to have his jersey retired, Meyer averaged 20 points per game as a junior and 26.5 points per game as a senior for teams that were a combined 32-5. He also starred as a pitcher on Wayne’s first high school team and its American Legion team. At the University of Northern Colorado, Meyer was a four-year starter in basketball, leading the Bears in scoring his junior and senior seasons. He also went 22-2 as a pitcher on the UNC baseball team that nearly qualified for the College World Series. He has been inducted into Wayne High School, Northern Colorado and the NAIA Halls of Fame, and is the subject of the movie, My Many Sons.
Sidney (Class of 1952)
Jon McWilliams was noted for his speed. Labeled “Greased Lighting” after a three-touchdown performance against Oshkosh, the Sidney senior sprinted to Class B all-state honors in football and the 120-yard high hurdles silver medal at the state track meet, helping his team win the state title. McWilliams, who lettered all four years in high school in all three sports, was also a mainstay on the basketball team. Selected as Western Nebraska’s Football MVP by the Scottsbluff Star-Herald, McWilliams went on to earn All-Big Seven honors at Nebraska after being switched to end. One of the first black players of the modern era, McWilliams was a three-year letterman in football and ran track for the Huskers. He played one year for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Canadian Football League.
Athlete, Class of 1942.
Football observers heaped their praise on Jim ‘Squat’ Myers from York, calling him the state’s most outstanding player in 1941. Described as a “speedy” back who possessed a “slick change of pace,” Myers led York to an undefeated season, scoring 16 touchdowns. He also led the state in punting. He was recruited by Notre Dame. Myers earned 12 letters at York, earning all-state tournament and second-team all-state honors in basketball. He also set the conference record in the pole vault as a freshman, going on to break that record every year. He won the all-class gold medal in the pole vault his senior year. Myers’ football career at Notre Dame never materialized. The Journal Star’s all-state team (with him on it) was published on a historic day, Dec. 7, 1941, and Myers joined the military. After serving in World War II, Myers returned to play football and run track for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, lettering in 1946 and 1947.
Athlete–One who helped spark the resurgence of interest in Nebraska Cornhusker football in the second half of the 20th century was this 1961 graduate of Broken Bow High School, who was nothing short of spectacular as a prepster. Named all-state his junior and senior years in high school in football, he was then even more widely know for his speed in track, helping the red and white-clad lads of Broken Bow win the Class B state track meet three years running, 1959-61. One of the faster sprinters of all time in the 100 and 220 yard dashes, his time of 21.4 in the 220 is still high on the all-time list. As a college football player at NU, he was part of the new powerhouse established by then new head Coach Bob Devaney, being picked all-conference as a defensive back in 1964. A long-time member of the Oakland Raiders professional football organization, he found success both as a player and a top scout.
McCloughan still working in football –Huskers Headquarters
LINCOLN — Kent McCloughan worked in a Broken Bow grocery store and listened to Husker games on the radio when he was a boy. That would be the last job he held that didn’t have anything to do with football.
Today, this legend of the early Devaney years works for the Oakland Raiders organization and pushes the Raiders’ shopping cart through the halls of college football. He looks for just the right match of talent and attitude to make silver and black history.
“I spend a lot of time on the road,” he said. “Most of my job involves talking. I talk to trainers, and coaches, and other players and try to find out how much a guy loves football and how tough he is.”
He also spends a lot of time looking at film so on NFL draft day, he can answer questions in seconds and help the Raiders make just the right picks that may someday get them back to the Super Bowl.
McCloughan started Super Bowl II as a cornerback for the Raiders. Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers, with Bart Starr calling signals, beat the Raiders 33-14.
The Raiders organization got McCloughan not through the draft, but via a telephone call from a Nebraska trainer.
“I was drafted in the third round by Washington and in the 11th by Houston,” McCloughan explained. “Washington had two all-pros where I would likely play and Houston never called back. That’s when I called George Sullivan and he called Al Davis.”
The Raiders traded for McCloughan and it has been a football love affair ever since. One of his sons works with him and is also a scout. He has two other boys, one is a scout for Seattle and the other is a homebuilder in Colorado.
McCloughan had the attention of most of Big 8 schools as a senior at Broken Bow. He had offers from Colorado, Kansas, and Northwestern, but Nebraska won.
The Bill Jennings group had the ball rolling with a couple of Oklahoma upsets and Bob Devaney was on the way to Lincoln.
McCloughan spent his freshman year in the Jennings era and came out firing under Devaney as a sophomore. He scored his first of 18 career touchdowns during the 1962 South Dakota opener, a 53-0 rout. “I am proud I was one of those guys,” he said. “We got the ball rolling.” Indeed they did. In the second game, Nebraska dropped Michigan in Ann Arbor, 25-13. Nine wins and only a 16-7 Homecoming loss to Missouri and a 34-6 loss to Oklahoma ruined the Devaney era debut.
That Husker team was the only one to ever play a football game in Yankee Stadium. The Huskers beat Miami in the Gotham Bowl, 36-34.
“It was so cold the ground was frozen,” McCloughan recalled. Even in freezing cold, Husker fever was catching on. The Huskers just missed a national title in 1963 after suffering a loss to Air Force to finish the season 10-1.
“We didn’t pay well against Air Force,” he said. “Late in the game, they got behind us on a pass and we didn’t catch up. We did beat Oklahoma which was good.”
The 17-13 loss to Air Force would knock out any Husker national title hopes, but they did go on to beat Auburn 13-7 in the Orange Bowl. McCloughan helped the Huskers to a 9-2 record in 1964. That mark included a 10-7 loss to Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl.
McCloughan received All Big 8 Conference honors and All Big 8 Conference Academic honors.
Athlete. Class of 1989. Few have mastered an event as well as Andy Meyer. From the state record in high school to three-time All-American honors in college, to a successful collegiate coach, Meyer made the discus ring his specialty. A high school football player at Superior, asked to walk on at Nebraska; three-year letterman in basketball; It was track where Meyer awed those who saw him compete. He won the Class B gold medal in the shot put as a junior, then threw a state-record 203 feet, 6 inches as a senior – a mark that still stood at the time of his induction 20 years later. At Nebraska, he was a three-time Big 8 champion in the discus. He competed in the World University games in 1993 and the Olympic Trials in 1996. He also was a two-time Big 8 shot put champion. H was named the head track coach at the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 1999 where he coached several national champion throwers.
Athlete. Mention the name Bill Mountford of Red Cloud to anyone active as a high school track & field athlete in Nebraska after World War II and before the Korean War and the retort would be: “Ah, yes – the great race.” Perhaps the most famous high school race ever run over the red cinders of Memorial Stadium in Lincoln took place on May 17, 1947, between Red Cloud Class C High School senior William E. Mountford and the defending gold medal winner, Marvin Zimmerman of Class A Nebraska City High School. Mountford lost the first race he ran in high school and none thereafter, dominating the mile run in Class C for three years. The boys on the track team at Red Cloud had to agree to compete in Class A in 1947 year so Bill could compete with Marvin at the state track meet. After dueling stride for stride for four quarters, Mountford held off the Zimmerman challenge by an eyelash in the then record mile time of 4.26.2. Generation after generation of runners recognized this effort as one of the most significant accomplishments in high school sports. The record stood for 17 years and it is a tribute to the sportsmanship of both runners that the race could take place at all. Forever it will bear the name given by the late Gregg McBride of the Omaha World-Herald: “The Magic Mile”.
A three sport letterman, McPhauls signature sport was track. Twice named the Gatorade Nebraska Track Athlete of the Year, McPhaull was a seven-time gold medalist for Omaha North at the state track championship and set the state record in the 400.
One of the greatest individual competitors ever for the University of South Dakota mens track and field team, he was a 13-time conference champion, a 10-time All-American, the NCAA Division II track Athlete of the Year in 1996 and the national indoor runner-up in the 400 in 1997. He competed professionally for two years before coaching high school and AAU track in Nebraska.
Athlete. Bob was not only a three-sport star for the Scouts, he actually lettered in four sports. He earned a total of 14 varsity letters by sandwiching golf in with football, basketball and track. His honors in high school included being named to the Central Ten All-Conference first teams three consecutive years in football and basketball from 1970 to 1972. He was selected to the Class C all-state football first teams in 1971 and 1972 and the all-class all-state team in 1972. He was awarded Class C all-state first-team honors in ’71 and ’72. The David City Scouts also garnered some team honors during Bob’s junior and senior years, earning state championships in football and basketball plus the all-sports title in ’72. He was a silver medallist in the triple jump at the state track meet twice in his career. Capping off his high school career he was selected by the Lincoln Journal-Star and the Omaha World-Herald as 1972 High School Athlete of the Year. Playing in the Shrine Bowl was a fitting climax to his high school career. Going to college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he lettered and started three years as a defensive end, earning All-Big 8 honors in 1975 and ’76. He was chosen All-American in ’76 and received the highest honor from his teammates by being selected co-captain. Bob went on to play professional football for five years, first with the New York Jets and then the San Francisco 49ers. He now works as Product Development Manager for Valmont Industries. (2003)
Coach—This champion basketball coach was at the helm of Omaha Technical High School during some glory years for the school. In his 20 years coaching at Tech, Neal Mosser helped develop what many consider the greatest high school boys basketball team of all time, the Class A State Championship Tech team of 1963. Few if any high school coaches in Nebraska in history developed more top flight athletes during his tenure, including Bob Gibson of baseball fame, ‘53; legendary basketball great Bob Boozer, ‘55; and Fred Hare, ‘63. Came to Nebraska after an outstanding basketball career in the Midwest while in the military, played for the Cornhuskers and made his life in Omaha. His coaching philosophy added a very fast pace to high school basketball in Nebraska. Career coaching record 237-122. His sons played for him and became outstanding basketball coaches in their own right.